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Apply to Language Science Fellows

To apply for the Apprentice program, see below

The Language Science Fellows (LSF) program is designed for PhD students whose research and training goals go beyond what can be provided by a traditional disciplinary curriculum. Students design an integrated research and training plan that suits their individual needs, with guidance from LSC faculty. They participate in and eventually lead LSC activities and events that provide opportunities for professional development, communication to diverse audiences, and outreach to the public. 


Application for the Language Science Fellows Program is open to ALL currently enrolled UMD graduate students in language science, regardless of citizenship, current funding status, advisor, or home PhD program. Fellows are expected to design and follow through on an individualized training and research plan, so students are encouraged to apply in their first or second year of studies to receive full benefits from participation. 

Certain funding mechanisms (e.g. the NRT grant) restrict the use of program funds to U.S. citizens and permanent residents (green card holders). We have secured additional funding from the university so that most students are at least elibigle for travel and research support. 

Application for Language Science Fellows (open for 2019)

Full application guidelines here (PDF)

2019 Timeline

February 25, 10:15am LSF information and Q&A session
March 1 Letter of intent due
March 4-8 Meetings to discuss proposals
March 29 Proposal due
April 19 Decision notification with brief written feedback
April 22 - May 3 Meetings to discuss feedback on proposals
June 7 Revisions due

Letter of intent

The letter of intent is a brief (up to one page) communication of your intention to apply. It gives us some basic information about your research and goals so that we can advise you about how to create a successful proposal. Please create a single PDF document containing the following:

  1. Letter of intent (up to one page) explaining:
    1. your research interests (in language suitable for a general language science audience)
    2. your goals in applying to the LSF program
    3. your existing funding plan for the PhD, including other fellowships you plan to apply for
  2. CV
  3. Academic records (unofficial transcript from Testudo is fine)

Send the PDF to Shevaun Lewis (shevaun@umd.edu) by noon on Friday, March 1, 2019. Upon receiving your application, Shevaun will schedule a meeting with you during the week of March 5-9 to discuss your proposal. 


The proposal describes an integrated research and training plan for the rest of your PhD. Please create a single PDF document containing the following:

  1. Integrated research and training plan (up to 5 pages single spaced) explaining:
    1. your research interests and goals
    2. your goals for your career and the broader impacts you would like to have (on your scientific community or society)
    3. your PLAN to develop the research and professional skills you will need to accomplish those goals (see application guidelines for details)
  2. Supporting documents:
    1. A table (about one page) summarizing your timeline (by semester) for courses, research, and other training activities, indicating which activities satisfy requirements for which program (e.g. Home PhD, LSF/NRT, NACS certificate, etc.)
    2. A non-confidential letter of commitment from your advisor(s), confirming that they endorse your research/training plan and commit to supporting your professional development.

Send the PDF to Shevaun Lewis (shevaun@umd.edu) by noon on Friday, March 29, 2019. In addition, have two confidential letters of recommendation sent to Shevaun by the same date. One of the letters should come from your current primary advisor. The other can come from any individual familiar with your academic abilities, whether at UMD or another institution. 

Notification and revisions

Applications will be reviewed by a panel of LSC-affiliated faculty from several departments. Notification of program acceptance and funding decisions will be made in writing by Friday, April 19. Shevaun will schedule a meeting with you during the weeks of April 22 -May 3 to discuss feedback and potential revisions to your proposal. Revisions will be due by Friday, June 7, 2019. 

Application for Apprentice Program

The Apprentice program is designed for students who are interested in LSF, but not yet ready to apply. As Apprentices, students participate in LSC research, outreach, and professional development activities, and receive regular mentorship from LSC faculty as they develop their integrated research and training plan for LSF. They are also eligible to apply for research and travel support. Students may participate in the Apprentice program for up to one year, after which they are expected to submit an application for the full LSF program. 

Applying is quick and easy. Students should email the following materials in a single PDF to Shevaun Lewis (shevaun@umd.edu): 

  1. A statement (one page or less) briefly addressing the following:
    • Why do you want to become a Language Science Fellow?
    • What are your general research interests? (Explain using language appropriate for a broad audience.)
    • What LSC activities/events do you plan to get involved in?
  2. Current CV
  3. Unofficial transcript
  4. Commitment letter signed by your advisor, indicating that they have read the program guidelines and understand the responsibilities and benefits of the Apprentice program. 

After we receive these materials, LSC staff will contact you to schedule an in-person meeting to discuss your participation in language science community activities, and how the Language Science Fellows program might serve your goals.